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A Fossil Motmot (Aves: Momotidae) from the Late Miocene of Florida

Jonathan J. Becker
The Condor
Vol. 88, No. 4 (Nov., 1986), pp. 478-482
DOI: 10.2307/1368274
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1368274
Page Count: 5
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A Fossil Motmot (Aves: Momotidae) from the Late Miocene of Florida
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Abstract

A fossil motmot, known from the proximal end of a humerus, from the late Miocene (early Hemphillian, approximately 8 MYA) Haile XIXA locality, Alachua County, Florida, is morphologically indistinguishable from that of living species of Electron, Momotus, and Eumomota. This is the first fossil record of the family Momotidae in the Tertiary of the New World. The presence of a motmot in Florida prior to the land connection between North and South America provides evidence for the Momotidae being widely distributed in the southern part of North America during the late Tertiary, then invading South America during the "Great American Interchange."

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